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Posted Sat Jun 27 2015: from Vice:
Sea Stars in Death Match With Themselves
But Gong quickly understood that this was different. Her [sea] stars weren't merely shedding their arms. They were tearing them off. They were tearing them off the way a man, lacking access to a sharp tool, might tear off one of his own arms: by using one arm to wrench the other out of its socket. "They twisted their arms together," Gong said, "and they'd pull and pull and pull, until one of them came off. Then the arm walks away because it doesn't know that it's dead. It was horrific. They weren't just dying. They were tearing themselves to pieces." ... Nobody knew exactly what to call it. Was it a die-off? A plague? A population crash? An extinction event? Scientists began referring to it as "the Wasting." ... "It was creepy," said Raimondi, using a term one doesn't typically hear from biologists. The Wasting has that effect. It makes scientists, who tend to choose their words with severe caution, speak like teenagers. In conversations they kept using words like "shock," "horror," and "nightmare." ... Raimondi has recently received reports of mass wasting among sea urchin populations. He does not know whether the same densovirus is responsible, but it looks familiar. "It's a lot like the early days for sea stars," he told me.
[Read more stories about: weakened immunity, sixth extinction, ocean warming, death spiral, holyshit]

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'Doc Michael says:
Bad enough we're losing the birds and bats and bees. We're going to lose the stars, too?

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